I sat down this week with Reagan McCain (sophomore, history) to talk about her experience working at WAUS, Andrews’ public radio station. WAUS runs classical music for 24 hours every day at 90.7fm and hires student workers to announce at the station on weekends.
How did you end up getting this job?
My good friend Grace No (junior, English)—she has been working at WAUS longer—told me about the job last year. It piqued my interest, but it was too late in the school year to do anything with it. I applied this fall, got hired in the winter, did a little bit of training, and now I’m set up and working this semester.
What do you do?
I am an announcer; I announce the pieces that just played, announce the pieces that are coming up, and read the ads. I also try to add a little personal flair here and there when I can, just to keep things interesting. That’s what I do for four hours every Sunday. I usually go in and set up during breaks in the program, and then I just switch out with whoever was on the shift before me.
Is that how long a typical shift is, four hours?
Some people work more than four hours, but I don’t yet. I am still new, and I feel some pressure of the responsibility of it. You know? I’m the only person there, watching the antennae, making sure the timing is correct, and making sure nothing else goes wrong. It’s still kind of nerve wracking for me—every single time, I get a little heart attack before I am about to speak. But I haven’t died yet!
What is your favorite part of the job?
Probably saying that I work as a radio announcer. It’s kind of a niche job, and I think it’s cool that I get to say that I’m on the radio. You know, a public figure. Although, I am kind of irrationally afraid of getting undue attention, and so I never say my full name. Just, “I’m Reagan, and you’re listening to WAUS 90.7 FM.”
What is your least favorite part of the job?
The anxiety that always comes before I speak live. I’m still not used to it completely—even though I don’t speak that often (on average, 4-5 times in one hour), I still feel uncomfortable with the music terms. So often I will think that I know them, but then in the moment I look at the script and I have to admit to myself that I do not know them. Honestly most of the free time in between each announcement I spend looking up how to pronounce people’s names and the terms that go with their pieces. I’m still new, so I’m still getting used to it.
Would you recommend this job to other people on campus?
Absolutely. It’s a super fun job. You also get to develop some marketable skills: public speaking, very clear diction, regulating your speed, and general professional responsibility. When we’re on a shift, we are usually the only people in the office. We have to make sure that all of the machines are working properly, that nothing is going wrong, keep it clean, that sort of thing. I think working for the radio station is a very unique opportunity.
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